Whether you're a Wes Anderson aficionado who can recite every line from his early classics like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums by heart, or a more recently acquired fan, the fresh new book The Grand Budapest Hotel by movie and culture critic Matt Zoller Seitz is a must-read.
As visually stunning as the film itself, this scrapbook-like volume contains behind-the-scenes snapshots from the nine-time Oscar-nominated movie, plus in-depth interviews with on-and-off-screen talents including lead actor Ralph Fiennes, costumer designer Milena Canonero, and writer-director Wes Anderson himself. Seitz delves into each of their unique experiences, unearthing a slew of fun factoids. For example, did you know that the furs worn by Madame D. (Tilda Swinton's character) were loans from the fashion house Fendi? And that Anderson zipped around Germany and Poland in a golf cart to scout various filming locations for the shoot?
These beautifully bound pages ($35; amazon.com) hit stores today, and while you're waiting for your Amazon Prime order to arrive, here's a generous sneak peek of some of images and illustrations that you'll find within.
1. Everything in this shot is a miniature or a digital matte painting, composited during post-production. As executed by production designer Adam Stockhausen and his team, this and many other outdoor panoramas aim for a more figurative than photo-realistic feeling, in the manner of 1930s and '40s movies.
2. Ralph Fiennes: a touch-up at the hand of makeup artist Frances Hannon; a light reading at the hand of cinematographer Bob Yeoman.
3. A Mendl's delivery truck parked outside of the 1932 façade, after the ZigZag takeover.
4. Abraham napping on set.
5. Tony Revolori as Zero, standing in front of a green screen, Mendl's box in hand.
6. Wes Anderson going for a spin on Agatha's pink bicycle, freighted down with Mendl's boxes.
7. Production sketch of Madame D.
8. Wes Anderson directs Ralph Fiennes looking through the window of a "train," actually a window frame mounted on a plywood platform attached to a dolly on rails.
9. Ralph Fiennes, Wes Anderson, and Tony Revolori on location, shooting the scene from the 1932 sequence in which M. Gustave begins mentoring Zero Moustafa.
10. Wes Anderson doing his thing.